top of page

What Is The Difference Between Refacing, Refinishing, And Resurfacing Kitchen Cabinets?

The critical difference is that refurbishing and refinishing strips off the old finish. It puts a new one on while refacing and finishes the cabinet in its original color, so it looks as good as new. If you are wondering what the fundamental difference is between refinishing, refacing, and resurfacing kitchen cabinets, this article is for you.

Refinishing: Sanding And Refinishing The Surface Of Your Cabinets

Refinishing is restoring the surface of a piece of wood or other material by refinishing it with a new finish. Refacing is the same as refinishing, but the old finish is replaced with a new one. Resurfacing is a more extreme form of refinishing in which all the original finish is removed, and the surface is thoroughly sanded and refinished.

Refacing: Removing All The Old Paint And Applying Fresh New Paint

Refacing is a more involved process than refinishing. The old paint is first removed with a chemical stripper. Then, the wood underneath is sanded down to its natural finish. New wood filler and primer are then applied, followed by new paint. It gives the cabinet an excellent look but can be more expensive than refinishing.

Resurfacing: Staining Or Painting Everything That Was Removed, Then Reassembling Everything

There are a few key distinctions to be aware of when it comes to updating or replacing kitchen cabinets. Cabinet refinishing is essentially just a cosmetic update that doesn't involve any physical changes to the cabinets. Refacing, on the other hand, involves completely rebuilding the cabinets from scratch – which may include replacing all the trim, hinges, and even doors. And finally, resurfacing is a mix of refinishing and rebuilding – meaning that some cabinet components will be replaced while others are left untouched.

Differences Between Refinishing, Refacing, And Resurfacing Kitchen Cabinets

Here are some significant differences between refinishing, refacing, and resurfacing kitchen cabinets.

  • The type of finish: Refinishing, refacing, and resurfacing are all different use finishes. Refinishing uses a sealer and a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish, while refacing uses a lower-gloss finish, and resurfacing is a matte finish.

  • Cost: Refinishing is typically less expensive than refacing or resurfacing.

  • Duration of the finish: Refinishing lasts up to two weeks, while refacing and resurfacing last up to four weeks.

  • Preparation required: Refinishing requires less preparation than refacing or resurfacing, with just some sanding required for a smooth finish.

  • Compatibility: All three types of finishes are compatible with most cabinets. However, refinishing may require minor touch-ups, while refacing and resurfacing are usually ready to use right out of the box.

  • Bonding agent: Each type of finish uses a different bonding agent that seals the wood and creates the finished look. Resurfacing uses epoxy resin, while refining uses lacquer or varnish.


A kitchen cabinet can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, but with everyday use and normal wear and tear, your cabinets will likely need some TLC. That's where refinishing, refacing, and resurfacing come in - these three restoration methods can restore your kitchen cabinets to their former glory. However, before you decide which is the best for you, it's essential to understand the differences between them to make the right decision for your needs.

60 views0 comments


bottom of page